National Semiconductor Corp. (www.national.com) has unveiled the LP3950, reportedly the first color LED driver with audio synchronizer. With this feature, the color LEDs on the phone or MP3 player blink and change color in time with the music or ring tones. Offered in a 32-pin thin CSP package, the LP3950 also comes with two RGB LED outputs that can drive up to 300 mA for color LEDs or for camera flash LED. National Semiconductor has also introduced the LP3942 and LP3931 chips for handheld devices. Applications include cell phones, smart phones, global positioning systems, and personal digital assistants.
A new service lets engineers and orthopedic surgeons design and 3D print highly accurate, patient-specific, orthopedic medical implants made of metal -- without owning a 3D printer. Using free, downloadable software, users can import ASCII and binary .STL files, design the implant, and send an encrypted design file to a third-party manufacturer.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.